Scribd announced today that Theresa Horner, former VP, Digital Content at Barnes and Noble will be joining them as their Vice President of Strategy and New Content Verticals.
They have a Q&A with her on their site, and it has some interesting tidbits, like the fact that Horner has been reading ebooks since Palm Pilot days. She was as dismissive of “you can’t read an entire book on such a small screen” as I was at the time.
Readers of TeleRead may recognize Horner’s name from her tenure at Barnes and Noble when she testified for the defense in the Apple price fixing case. Fortune characterized her as “everything Apple could hope for.”
But according to Horner’s testimony, Barnes & Noble was already planning internally to switch the Big Six to agency before Apple arrived, and that she was under instructions to put those plans into “overdrive” before Barnes & Noble lost even more money.
According to an article by David Gaughran earlier this year, Horner was also instrumental in leading the negotiations between Author Solutions and Nook Press in the creation of Nook Press Author Services.
Theresa Horner – the General Manager of Nook Press and VP of Content Acquisitions – led the negotiations with Author Solutions, which concluded in October last year. When making the announcement, Horner explained to Publishers Weekly that Barnes & Noble plans to further expand the services offered by Nook Press to its users.
She previously worked for both Microsoft and HarperCollins. Since HarperCollins was the first of the Big Five publishers to sign with Scribd, she’s a logical choice to continue and strengthen that relationship.
Hiring someone to manage both those areas is a good move for Scribd. New content will keep readers subscribed and should lead to new subscribers. Based on their recent reduction of romance titles in Scribd, it’s obvious they need to continue to work on strategy to create a sustainable pricing model.
I just think I’d be happier if they hadn’t hired someone so closely involved with the Nook Press/Author Solutions partnership. Or if she’d been more successful at keeping Nook a solid player in the ebook industry. However, Scribd may give her more leeway to make better strategic decisions. Time will tell.